Last year following the first or second surgery my parents moved in to help. They had plans to spend the winter in the desert and search for gold. Instead they dropped everything, packed up all their stuff and came home. “We are family, “they said. “We’re to help.” And help they did. They entertained Matthew and kept Rebecca busy. They made sure Bob had someone to talk to and were a shoulder to cry on. They cooked and cleaned. And on one occasion they made pizza.
You may recall that our house is gluten free. That means we can’t order a pizza from the place down the street. Because of that I keep in the pantry a gluten free pizza crust mix. We make it up and add our favorite toppings.
One day following a chemo treatment Mom wanted to know what I could eat for dinner. (Chemotherapy can do nasty things to one’s appetite.) Surprisingly, a Hawaiian pizza sounded tasty. I must have been delirious as I remember telling Mom that it was fast and easy to make from scratch.
My parents are pretty good sports and willing to try anything so they decided this would be supper. After finding the mix Mom decided that the directions were too small. She needed help…”John, come read this for me.” Apparently, too, the directions were more complicated than they expected. Hilarity ensued as they talked back and forth questioning both the directions and then each other. “When do I add the yeast?” “How long do I mix it?” “Do I need eggs?” “You need eggs?” “What kind of oil? –Where’s the olive oil?” “How long should it rise?” “Why is it so sticky???”
With one reading and one helping and a third searching for ingredients I thought I should help. Instead I feigned sleep and lay quietly on the couch snickering. It seemed like it took forever to get made but I’m pretty sure my memory was dimmed by the chemo and most likely I took a nap. I know it smelled delicious as it baked and everyone enjoyed it.
Now when I make pizza I always think about the one my folks made. It was funny watching their efforts. But, what I remember most is how they dropped everything to come and keep some semblance of order in our suddenly chaotic lives. Family–yep, glad we have them.